My name is Jonathan Anderson. I attended Cedarville from 1980 to 1984, graduating with a B.A. in Accounting. While at Cedarville, I used the nickname "Jon," so if any reader is wondering if I am the "Jon Anderson" they knew during those years, the answer is yes!
Like many who have attended, currently attend, and will attend Cedarville, I was raised in a loving, conservative, Baptist home, with my father being my pastor until high school. I have two brothers and a sister, and I am still quite close to all of my family (e.g. parents, siblings, nephews, nieces). About the only major "point of contention" I have with my family, and they with me, concerns the big "G" issue. My family believes "being Gay" is a choice, and a bad one at that. I, however, know that for me, being Gay is who and what I've always been, as far back as I can remember.
I remember around five or six years old, that I knew that I was somehow "different." I wasn't sure what made me different, or why I felt that way, but I knew, even at that early age, that I wasn't like most. I also remember (around that same age) being uncomfortable around certain men, for I "sensed" something different in them, and intuitively felt they sensed the same "something" about me. I look back now and howl with laughter. Those of us who are Gay many times use the term "Gaydar" (a variation of the word "radar"), denoting our ability to intuitively sense (with uncanny accuracy) other Gays, even without exchanging a word. Not too surprisingly, while at Cedarville, I was able to "spot" other Gays - only I didn't know at that time what it was that I sensed.
Because of my upbringing, I was taught that any thought of sex (including "straight" sex) was wrong, until marriage. I was probably a "prude among prudes," even at Cedarville! It wasn't until several years after I'd graduated from Cedarville, that I began my personal journey of discovering I was Gay. I started by finally admitting to myself (at age 29) that I found myself sexually attracted to certain men, and never to women. I struggled with this realization for about a year (during which time I was "admitting" to myself that I might possibly be bisexual), and finally decided to prove, once and for all, that I would be utterly disgusted at being even near a known homosexual. I attended an event intended mainly for Gays (but friends of Gays were also welcomed). I was astonished to find that most of the men were "normal" looking and not dressed as women (I later discovered that a very small percentage of Gays cross-dress), most of the men were "normal" acting, no one tried to accost me, all were friendly, many held the same beliefs about God as I held, and I felt I had found answers to many questions.
I battled with the teachings of my upbringing (that being Gay is a bad choice) versus what my logic, intellect, and body told me, for about a year. I was over 30 years old before I had my first sexual experience, which was Gay (trust me, a naked woman was, and still is, perfectly safe around me). I had hoped beyond hope that my sexual experience would be so awful and traumatic, that I would somehow suddenly spark a sexual interest in women and would "turn me" into a "normal" man. Nope. Not even close. Thereafter, I struggled another year or so with the same battle as before, attempting to reconcile (1) my family and my upbringing saying I was wrong, that I was really heterosexual and I'd somehow made a decision to go against the natural attraction to a woman, and "decided" to be Gay, compared to (2) my personal and absolute knowledge, of how right it felt to be with a man, how my logic and intellect told me that for all of these years I'd sensed something different about me and to discover it was my Gaydar, and to know that I had tried so hard to make the decision to be straight, and not Gay, and yet it just wouldn't work.
As I said earlier, I'm still very close with my family. We did have to agree not to discuss homosexuality, since my family continues to be amazingly critical, and in a not-so-kind manner, about this issue (which is in sharp contrast to my family's normal attitude towards and about me). I include this to perhaps offer advice to other Gays/Lesbians, in that your families will almost undoubtedly continue to love you, but some/many will refuse to ever "accept" this fact about you, regardless of the amount of debate in which you engage.
I have been happily partnered with Logan (a physician) for the past 14 years, living in sunny, Southern California. I've earned a J.D. and an LL.M. since Cedarville, using the same logic and analytical skills I used discovering that I am, in fact, Gay.
I know that there is a God, and that He created me, just as I am. I also know that God doesn't make mistakes, and He didn't make such when creating me. I know that I didn't choose to be Gay, just as no heterosexual can ever tell me the point at which he/she "chose" to be straight. I also know that I can't "choose" to be heterosexual just as no heterosexual can ever tell me that he/she could "choose to be Gay" (and isn't it astounding that that simple logic seems to escape most heterosexuals). I still see God working in my life, answering prayers, and providing me with undeserved opportunities and blessings, for which I'm thankful.
I hope this website and our stories will help other Gays, Lesbians, and similarly-situated people as they make their own journeys of self-discovery. I hope this will allay some fear and feelings of bewilderment that you or someone you know somehow did something wrong; that they somehow managed to make a terrible decision that will detrimentally impact the rest of their lives; and that they have somehow managed to disregard God's will and intent for their lives.
If you discover you're Gay/Lesbian, great! If you discover you're not Gay/Lesbian, that's also great! God made you who and what you are - revel and take peace in that knowledge.